[sri@qsun.att.com: Comments on <draft-ietf-osids-distnames-02>]

Russ Wright <wright@net.lbl.gov> Sun, 02 August 1992 18:28 UTC

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Date: Sun, 02 Aug 92 10:50:33 -800
From: Russ Wright <wright@net.lbl.gov>
To: osi-ds@cs.ucl.ac.uk
Subject: [sri@qsun.att.com: Comments on <draft-ietf-osids-distnames-02>]

For those of you who missed this on the ietf list.


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From: sri@qsun.att.com
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 92 14:54 EDT
Original-From: qsun!sri (Srinivas R Sataluri +1 908 949 7782)
To: ietf@isi.edu
Subject: Comments on <draft-ietf-osids-distnames-02>

> The IESG has received a request from the OSI Directory Services working
> group to recommend the Internet Draft "A String Representation of
> Distinguished Names" <draft-ietf-osids-distnames-02> be published as a
> Proposed Standard.
> The OSI Directory uses distinguished names as the primary keys to
> entries in the directory.  Distinguished Names are encoded in ASN.1.
> When a distinguished name is communicated between to users not using a
> directory protocol (e.g., in a mail message), there is a need to have a
> user-oriented string representation of distinguished name.
> The IESG plans to make a recommendation in the next few weeks and
> solicits fomal comments on this action.  Please send any comments to
> the iesg@nri.reston.va.us, or ietf@isi.edu mailing lists by August
> 10th.
> Greg Vaudreuil
> IESG Secretary

Here are my comments on the draft named above. In the following I first
list the section number and title and when appropriate reproduce a 
sentence or two from the document and then give my comments.


1 Why a notation is needed
  For example, the OSF Syntax may be more appropriate for some system
  oriented uses.

     Please provide a short description of the OSF Syntax or a
     reference or both.

2.1 Goals

     The goals are quite fuzzy and need elaboration. What is meant by
     terms like, "intuitive", "fully general", "lay it out in a number
     of ways", and "clear representation"?

     I think an important goal should be an unambiguous representation
     of a distinguished name.

2.3 Formal definition

  There is an escape mechanism.
     Escape mechanism to what? Is it escaping from the quoting

  The keyword specification is optional.
     What keyword specification is optional? You do not give any
     references and do not define the terms before using them.

Figure 1:
  Caption: BNF Grammar for Distinguished and Purported Name
     What is a "Purported Name"? This term was not used any other place
     in the document.

     Figure 1 is the heart of the paper. Unfortunately, the BNF
     notation you use is not obvious to me. Can you point to a
     reference where it is defined or better yet, please give a short
     description so that the RFC will be self contained. For instance,
     what does 2*<hexchar> mean? What do parentheses signify. I am
     sorry it is not clear to me.

3 Examples

  OU=Dover Beach Consulting
      I think must read,
  O=Dover Beach Consulting

  OU=University College London
      I think must read,
  O=University College London

----------- My General Comments -------------

   This RFC draft assumes extensive background knowledge. It will be
   helpful if you specify what is expected of your reader.  The paper
   specifies a notation for Distinguished Names. However a
   Distinguished Name itself does not appear any where in the paper.  I
   think that you should write out a distinguished name and point a
   reference to the reader to find out how it came about.

   Does the specification meet all the goals laid out in section 2?

-sri (Srinivas R. Sataluri, AT&T Bell Labs., 908-949-7782, sri@qsun.att.com)

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